IITs: Only 56 OBCs in open category,most take quota route

Only a handful of candidates from the Other Backward Classes category have managed to get a seat or an institute of their choice in the open category this year

Written by Mihika Basu | Mumbai | Published: July 2, 2012 1:03 am

Only a handful of candidates from the Other Backward Classes (OBC) category have managed to get a seat or an institute of their choice in the open category this year. A majority had to use reservation or relaxed score to get into the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs).

According to the IITs,of the 4,805 OBC candidates who cracked the Joint Entrance Examination (JEE) this year,1,625 candidates had figured in the common merit list,but merely 56 of them could make it to the institutes based on their open category ranking.

While several OBC students make it to the common merit list every year,most use the score relaxation offered to them to better their ranks,or opt for a “perceived” attractive course. Accordingly,the IITs declare separate lists for OBC,SC and ST candidates.

For the common merit list,candidates this year had to score 10 per cent in each subject and 35 per cent in the aggregate. For the OBC list,a candidate had to score 9 per cent in each subject and 31.5 per cent in the total (10 per cent relaxation from the aggregate of common merit list). Similarly,for the SC/ST ranking list,candidates had to score 5 per cent in each subject and 17.5 per cent in the aggregate (50 per cent relaxation from the common merit list aggregate).

This year,2,536 seats were reserved for OBC candidates across the IITs and all seats were filled up after the first round of seat allotment. As many as 1,403 seats were reserved for SCs and 708 for STs. “Of the 4,805 OBC candidates who had cleared JEE this year,56 got a seat in the open category and didn’t have to exercise the reservation criterion. Among SC candidates,two candidates made it in the open category this year,” said Prof G B Reddy,organising chairman of IIT-JEE 2012 from IIT Delhi.

Though the number of OBC applications has gone up since 27 per cent reservation was introduced for OBCs belonging to the non-creamy layer, several students are unable to prove their OBC status every year. This year too,of the 4,805 OBC candidates who cracked JEE,nearly 800 either withdrew from the process or requested to be transferred to the general category as they feared they would not be able to prove their OBC status.

In 2010,469 seats reserved for OBCs had remained vacant and had to be converted to the general category as some candidates could not make it despite a relaxation in the cut-off and some also failed to prove their OBC (non-creamy layer) status. “In 2011 too,only 11 OBC candidates could get a course/institute of their choice based on their common merit list ranking and didn’t have to use the reservation criterion,” said Prof Avinash Mahajan,chairman of JEE 2012 from IIT-Powai.

The picture is bleaker in the case of the SC and ST candidates. While only two SC students got a course/institute of their choice in the open category this year,the number stands at zero for STs. “In 2011,one student each from SC and ST categories could make it in the open category. The rest had to use reservation to get a course or institute of their choice,” said Mahajan.

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